Afghanistan: Citizens protests in Khost, Paktika against cross-border rocket attacks by Pakistan
People in Khost and Paktika protested on July 27 against cross-border rocket attacks by Pakistan security forces and attempts to intrude into Afghan territory illegally by setting up military posts, according to sources.
Both cities of Khost and Paktika are located in the southeastern part of the country and adjacent to the Durand Line border with Pakistan. The Durand Line, a 2,400 km (1,500-mile) frontier with villages straddling the border and mosques and houses having one door in Pakistan and another in Afghanistan.
The continuous firing by the Pakistani army on Afghan soil has also resulted in civilian casualties in recent days and caused damages to their house and property, sources said.
On July 16, the Afghan Foreign Ministry in a statement cited by Al Jazeera said the rockets were fired on eastern Kunar province, along a disputed border that Pakistan is fencing since mid-2017.
Kabul called on Islamabad to refrain from "unacceptable" artillery attacks and arbitrary installations as it can cause further escalations between the two countries, according to sources. A lawmaker from Kunar, Wazhma Safi, said if Pakistan continued to fire over the border, the issue would be discussed at the diplomatic level.
She said she believes Taliban rebels, backed by Pakistan, were behind the attack on Afghan soil. Afghan forces stationed there responded to the attacks, said Abdul Ghani Musamem, a spokesman for the governor of Kunar province. Afghanistan and Pakistan are in dispute over whether the border is officially recognised.
In addition, Kabul accuses Islamabad of supporting the Taliban forces fighting against the US-backed Afghan government, a claim Pakistan denies. In 2017, Pakistan said it had started building a fence along the border as part of efforts aimed at curbing fighting. But the move sparked condemnation in Kabul.
The development comes as a fresh round of peace negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban are expected this month in the Qatari capital Doha. The so-called intra-Afghan talks were delayed due to postponement of a prisoner exchange between the sides agreed as part of a deal between the United States and the Taliban.